While the technology behind Aqua Metals is not directly connected to modern lithium-ion electric vehicle batteries, it's hard to deny that the California company will be in good company with its new facility. Aqua Metals has broken ground on a $30-million battery recycling plant in Nevada that federal officials say will be the first of its kind in the world. Aqua Metals is building the plant at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center east of Reno where Tesla Motors is building its electric battery factory.

The US Department of Agriculture guaranteed a $10 million business loan for the Oakland-based company to complete the world's first commercial-scale electro-chemical lead battery and recycling plant. Aqua Metals officials say the technology they call "AquaRefining" is more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional recycling.

USDA Rural Development spokeswoman Kelly Clark told the Reno Gazette-Journal it uses a new water-based process to remove the lead instead of smelters that create toxic waste Operations are expected to begin in 2016.

The RGJ said that Tesla's upcoming Gigafactory will have an important "impact on Reno's reputation as a place to do business for companies looking to expand."

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Aqua Metals Breaks Ground for New AquaRefinery Facility in Nevada
World's First Commercial Clean Battery Recycling Facility to Open in McCarren, NV

MCCARRAN, Nev., Aug. 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQMS) ("Aqua Metals" or the "Company"), a developer of an electrochemical lead recycling technology, today announced it has broken ground for construction on its new AquaRefinery™ clean battery recycling commercial facility at a ceremony held on Friday August 21, 2015 at 2500 Peru Drive, McCarran, NV.

In June 2015, Aqua Metals purchased 11.7 acres at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in McCarran, Nevada for the new facility. The region and site were chosen for their excellent infrastructure, logistics, favorable business climate and inadequate service by existing battery recycling smelters. The approximately 125,000 square foot building is expected to be completed and begin production in the second quarter of 2016. The Company anticipates reaching full operating capacity of 80 Metric Tons of lead output by fourth quarter 2016.

The facility and AquaRefining technology is designed to substantially reduce the inefficiency, costs and toxic waste associated with conventional lead acid battery recycling. The Company believes that AquaRefining will deliver a better product at a higher yield, substantially eliminate toxic waste, reduce permitting and be less expensive to build than a conventional smelting recycling plant.

"With the recent completion of our IPO, we have now broken ground on the world's first AquaRefinery in Nevada," said Dr. Stephen Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals. "This next step toward commercial operations is an important milestone in our mission to build an environmentally sustainable lead recycling company and we believe we have chosen an ideal location."

Steve Cotton, Chief Commercial Officer of Aqua Metals added, "We have been delighted in working with officials from Storey County, EDAWN (Economic Development Administration of Western Nevada), and the USDA Rural Development team who all participated in and added greatly to our groundbreaking event."

To view images and video from this groundbreaking event, please visit www.aquametals.com

About Aqua Metals, Inc.

Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AQMS) has developed AquaRefining™, a modular electrochemical process that produces ultra-pure lead from used lead-acid batteries in an efficient and socially responsible manner. Unlike lead smelting (the current method of recycling lead-acid batteries), AquaRefining produces almost no emissions. AquaRefining also consumes much less total energy and is more cost effective than lead smelting. Aqua Metals has engineering offices in Oakland, California and is in the process of building commercial lead production AquaRefining facilities, the first of which will be near Reno, Nevada. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.aquametals.com.

Safe Harbor

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning Aqua Metals, Inc., including statements regarding the prospects for the lead acid battery recycling industry, the future of lead acid battery recycling via traditional smelters, the Company's development of its commercial lead acid battery recycling facilities and the quality, efficiency and profitability of the Company's proposed lead acid battery recycling operations. Those forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. Among those factors are: (1) the fact that Company has not yet commenced revenue producing operations or developed its initial commercial recycling facility, thus subjecting the Company to all of the risks inherent in a pre-revenue start-up; (2) risks related to Aqua Metals' ability to raise sufficient capital, as and when needed, to develop and operate its recycling facilities; (3) changes in the federal, state and foreign laws regulating the recycling of lead acid batteries; (4) the Company's ability to protect its proprietary technology, trade secrets and know-how and (5) those other risks disclosed in the section "Risk Factors" included in the final prospectus filed by Aqua Metals with the SEC on July 31, 2015. Aqua Metals cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to update or revise such statements to reflect new circumstances or unanticipated events as they occur.

The AP contributed to this report.

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